Rope Puzzle





Introduction: Rope Puzzle

This is a fun and easy little project to make. I made the main pieces with scrap wood and an old piece of rope. I purchased the wood beads from a craft store but these could have been made from scrap wood blocks as well. The solution is not intuitive so it might be a challenge for your friends and family. See the last step for a solution video.

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Step 1: Tools/Materials


  • Saw
  • Drill or Drill Press
  • Drill Bits
  • Sander
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Lighter


Step 2: Drawing

You will be building two of these pieces.

Step 3: Measure/Mark Wood

I cut the blocks to 5" long. You can make this dimension smaller or larger based off your preference.

Step 4: Cut to Length

Cut two pieces.

Step 5: Mark and Punch Hole Locations

Mark hole locations per the drawing.

Step 6: Drill Holes

Drill 1/2" Diameter Holes per the marks.

Step 7: Small Bead Counter-Bore

I counterbored the small beads to allow a pocket for the knots. This picture shows the top side (counterbore) and bottom side (small hole).

Step 8: Ready to Build

Cut the rope to 14" Long - make two of these. You should now have all the parts to build your puzzle.

Step 9: Gather Pieces for One Section

Step 10: Feed Rope Through Wood As Shown

Step 11: Push Rope Through Large Wood Beads

Step 12: Feed Rope Through Small Bead

I used a lighter to seal the frayed ends of the rope. This allowed the rope to slide through the small hole pretty easy. The counterbore on the small bead should be oriented towards the end of the rope.

Step 13: Tie Knots at the Ends of Rope

Step 14: Cut Off Excess Rope

Step 15: Burn Ends of Rope to Seal

After melting the ends, add a little glue to the beads. Pull the rope into the counterbore of the outer bead.

Step 16: Puzzle Is Ready

Step 17: In Puzzle Form

See the video (next step) to show how to solve it. Reverse the process to get it back in puzzle form.

Step 18: Solution

Enjoy your puzzle!

9 People Made This Project!


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I love this type of physical puzzle, they also infuriate me sometimes when I can remember how I did them. I found the Horseshoe/ring puzzle in a junk shop but it was separated so I put it back together so they wouldn't lose the bits, took me half an hour as I couldn't remember how I did it

Yeah, I'm the same way. I have multiple puzzles that I've posted on instructables sitting on a table at work. Sometimes I need to go back and look at my own directions to figure out how to solve them :(.

I've seen this same puzzle done using a slightly loose loop of rope tied around each of their wrists. They are then challenged to separate themselves without untying any of the loops (yes, I solved it - in about 15 seconds).

That's a pretty good idea!

I have a sneaky and devious mind. I recognized the solution from the photo. Think outside the box! Nice job!

Thanks. Yep, some people see the solution instantly while others never get it.

I'm a never get it apparently. At one time I thought I was intelligent. Go figger.

ARRGGHHH..............! Just got the solution.! I feel slow!

Yeah, some people get it instantly. I've had others that still haven't figure it out.